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Castles in Bavaria

Old May 24th, 2012, 05:57 AM
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Castles in Bavaria

We are staying in Munich for three nights and 2 nights in Garmisch-Partenkircken. We would like to visit several castles while we are there and I am interested to hear any advice on which castles are worth the time (my girlfriend is set on seeing Neuschwanstein so that is definitely on the list). We are willing to take a day trip or two to see them, especially if we can fit a visit to nearby small towns as well. We have a Eurorail pass with extra days and would prefer to use the rail system but buses are acceptable also. The least favorite, but available is to rent a car if it is easiest.

I don't want to draw too much time away from the city of Munich but I am a big fan of military history (medieval) and really enjoy these castle visits where ever I go.

Thanks for any ideas or suggestions!
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Old May 24th, 2012, 06:43 AM
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For a real castle, using trains, I think you might want to go just over the border into Austria.

There's Hohensalzburg in Salzburg about an hour and a half from Munich.

And Kufstein is excellent too. It's less than an hour from Munich but unfortunately not in the same direction as Salzburg, so it would be difficult to combine them. Not impossible though. And exploring 2 in 1 day dilutes the experience of each.

I really like Kufstein. The castle is the real thing, well restored but not overly so, the Alpine scenery is wonderful, and the town is an interesting genuine blend of old and new. The train station is a 2 minute walk from the center of town. There are 2 fantastic old restaurants across the street from each other - one is the Auracher Lochl and I can't remember the name of the other one. The Auracher Lochl was so good that we took the train back to Kufstein from Munich just for another dinner there.

Back in Bavaria, there's Burghausen, which I think is about 2 hours from Munich. I have seen it from the town square but have not toured it, so cannot recommend one way or the other.

Not a medieval castle by any means, but Nymphenburg Palace just west of downtown Munich is wonderful.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 07:08 AM
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After Garmisch-Partenkircken we are heading to Innsbruck for 3 nights also if that helps! We plan on visiting Salzburg for a day out of that trip so I will look into Hohensalzburg!

I thought I saw a castle/palace in a large wood or park near Garmisch-Partenkircken. Not sure what those areas are but look interesting. A definite problem of so much to see!

Thanks again!
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Old May 24th, 2012, 07:09 AM
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First off, the Bavarian National Museum is a must while in Munich. Tons of medieval military history (and lots more). It's right on the tram line. You COULD spend all day here, but plan on at 2-4 hours.

http://www.bayerisches-nationalmuseum.de/ (no English in website but you can paste web address into a Google search box and click "translate this page".


I think for five days, two castles are plenty. I would combine Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein in the same day. They are VERY close to one another. You could do this as a day trip from either Munich OR Garmisch.

From Garmisch:
The tram to the top of the world http://www.zugspitze.de/en/summer/index.htm Consider including Grainau and Lake Eibsee with this day trip.

Oberammergau and Mittenwald are both very close to G-P and can be a combined day-trip.


Also - Two strong suggestions for dining (Munich):

1) http://www.andechser-am-dom.de/, behind the Frauenkirche in the old center (casual). don't be scared off by it's super central location. It's GOOD and not really touristy. Get the Andech beer (of course!) and some Nuremberg sausages.

2) http://www.cafe-luitpold.de/ Great food and wine.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 07:37 AM
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Hi Ab -

Not sure about the castle / palace in a park near GP, but maybe you were looking at Linderhof? It's about half-way between Oberammergau and Fussen. Pretty but not exactly medieval. And not easy to get to without a car.

How are you getting from GP to Neuschwanstein? Or are you going to Neuschwanstein from Munich?

Innsbruck - Schloss Ambras. My recollection is that it's more Renaissance than medieval, but worth a look if you like castles.

Oh - another one - Burg Trausnitz in Landshut. 30-45 minutes from Munich.

The moment you have a clear sunny day in GP, go immediately to the Zugspitze.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 08:22 AM
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Hohenschwangau is practically at the foot of the walk (or carriage ride) up to Neuschwanstein. It is well worth a visit. although not medieval, it was the family home of the Bavarian kings and going through it, you feel as if the family had just stepped out for a minute and might reappear at any time. I am glad I made the climb to Neuschwanstein, but liked Hohenschwangau better.

Linderhof, another of Ludwig's fantasies, is not far from Oberammergau. I had a Eurail pass and it was good on the busses. I took a bus there and recall that it stopped almost at the gate of Linderhof.

Herrenchiemsee is on an island in a lake. It was to take after Versailles and is full of mirrors and crystal of all sorts. We were on our way from Salzburg to Munich via train when we visited here. We got off the train on one side of the lake, took a ferry out to the palace, visited and then got on the ferry to the other side where we picked up the train for Munich.

While in Salzburg, you might want to visit the Bishop's palace several miles outside of the city. Can't remember much about the interior, but the gardens were lovely and there were trick fountains all over. The bishop loved to get his guests seated at an outside table for a meal and then secretly turn on his fountains. Guests seated at the table got sprinkled, but if they tried to run away, they got a powerful spray which surrounded the table. Don't remember how they worked as this was built pre-electricity days.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 09:26 AM
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Nymphenburg is quite close to Munich - although it is a palace not a castle. (However, though Neushwanstein IS a castel it is a fake one - built many hundreds of years after the days of fortified cstles were long gone. I found it kind of boring.)

If you want to see someting from Mad King Ludwig I would prefer the Linderhof, Herrenchiensee or even Hohenschwangau.

For a real castle - built in the age of fortified military buildings verus "toy cstles" of Ludwig - agree that the Hohen salzburg is fascinating.

Caveat: We always travel by car - so I know nothing about getting to any of these places by train.

And do look to see if they allow entry at any time or have timed tours - as at Neuschwanstein (you need to reserve places on a timed English tour - unless your German is good and aren;t just allowed to wander around the parts open to the public - unlike some of the others.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 09:57 AM
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>Nymphenburg is quite close to Munich

Just as much as Manhattan is quite close to New York City.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 10:06 AM
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Here is something you may or may not want to do. From Fussen rent a car and drive to the Ehrenburg Casle Ruins just outside of Reutte, Austria. Make sure the car given you has a valid Austria road stamp. The drive is about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes and very scenic. Enter the fortress gates and walk on the path through the woods, about a half hour walk, up hill but not steep, to the lower castle ruins. These are ruins - nothing more, but date back to around the 13th century, perhaps a bit earlier. Having seen the lower castle ruins it is time to hike up to the upper castle ruins. Find the entrance to the unimproved path (marked)and begin to climb. At times you will be using branches to help pull yourself up, at times, roots. Arriving at the top you will see the upper castle ruins, also dating back to the 13th century or before and you will be rewarded with spectacular views. Look down, way down to the lower castle and fort and get a good panoramic idea of the defense of the area. Chances are you will have the entire place to yourself. Getting down is well, interesting. Arriving back at the fort, relax in the Gasthof restaurant. You deserve it.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 10:07 AM
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I thought that Nymphenburg was magnificent..
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Old May 24th, 2012, 10:32 AM
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Me too - about Nymphenburg. The Amalienburg on the grounds is one of my favorite buildings anywhere.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 11:30 AM
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Stayed a couple of days in Munich and saw three castles in one day...bit hectic but worth it...

http://www.johns-bavarian-tours.com/...hwanstein.html
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Old May 24th, 2012, 12:15 PM
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linderhof's grounds are free but there is a charge for the castle tour. We were not that thrilled about the castle tour. I did think the dining room table was cool. It dropped down into the kitchen so Ludwig's food wouldn't get cold.
I love seeing the kitchens and they were not on the tour. Go see the cathedral at Ettal,it is on the way to Oberammergau, one of my favorite places, you will pass through Ettal on the way. If you love all the wood carving and homemade wood items there are two wood workers along the side of this road. Great prices!
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Old May 24th, 2012, 12:39 PM
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The Linderhof dining table! My understanding is that Ludwig had the descending table, not requiring visible servants, so that he could dine in privacy with his friend Marie Antoinette. Of course, Marie Antoinette had been dead for almost a hundred years...
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Old May 25th, 2012, 04:02 AM
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We must of had different tour guides! That piano he had made for Wagner was wild, showed just had out of touch he was with his people. I loved the grounds, it was a nice day and they were amazing. I think any of Ludwig's castles are a treat and feast for the eyes. He was a colorful King.
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Old May 26th, 2012, 05:45 AM
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Several people have suggested Nymphenburg Palace. Whe you go there be sure to tour the coach house, it is full of cinderella coaches. The Wittlesbach family also had their in-town palace, the Residenz just off Marienplatz in Munich. It was rebuilt after the WWII bombing and the most interestion thing is the treasure where the keep the crown jewels. For the Ludwig experience, late 1800s, the castles and palaces are Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau (Ludwig's boyhood home on the hill opposite ), Linderhof (small but interesting castle near Oberammergau) and Herrenchiemsee (on an island in a lake, Ludwigs copy of Versailles).
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Old Jun 7th, 2012, 10:02 AM
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Thank you all for the replies. I've been busy studying about Munich and trying to determine what we should see (or more like what should be skip!!! WOW!)

The ideas are great and I think I should have enforced my desire on our travel agent about staying in Fussen instead of GP (I think she chose it because it is on the rail line of our main trip).

"How are you getting from GP to Neuschwanstein? Or are you going to Neuschwanstein from Munich?"

That is my current concern. I had hoped to go by rail but I think it may require a car. If anyone has advice on that it is appreciated.

Bardo, I will definitely visit the Bavarian National Museum. It sounds right up my alley. Great idea!

I also like the idea of Nymphenburg and have been reading up a bit. I just get confused as to what is in Munich proper and what we would consider a suburb. Is this on the um, metro line?

I am also going to make reservations for the restaurants mentioned. I think we'll do the Hofbrau the first night and then visit the others on subsequent nights.

Again, thanks all for your input and feel free to add or correct anything I might have take out of context. I am bringing someone along and I really want to make sure I provide the best use of time. When I am on my own I kind of "wing it" with sometimes wonderful (or hilarious) outcomes.

Danke, Andrew
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Old Jun 7th, 2012, 10:09 AM
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Yopu can take the train to Fuessen and get to several of the recommends by either public bus or a taxi right from the station.

Herrenchiemsee is the largest of the four Ludwig builds and its interior is the most elaborately decorated of all. The Hall of Mirrors is even larger than the namesake at Versailles. It is easy to reach via a local train from Munich to Prien (on the main line to Salzburg).

Nymphenburg is an easy TRAM ride inside Munich and it is a LOT easier than getting to parts of New York City from Manhattan I can assure you, and probably safer, too.
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Old Jun 7th, 2012, 11:08 AM
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I thought the Hofbrau House was "OK". I can understand wanting to go as it is iconic, but you'll be having better food and beer elsewhere (like Andechser an Dom).

If the Hofbrau is a must, however, at least get a reservation for the historic beer hall on the first floor of the building and NOT one of the overflow spaces. Otherwise, it's just a quiet room, no band, etc. and then REALLY not worth it. Reserve the Hofbrau ASAP as it is a must for every touririst around the world who comes to Munich (especially Chinese, it appeared to us).
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Old Aug 7th, 2012, 07:09 AM
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I just wanted to thank everyone that weighed in with opinions. Our trip was a lot of fun. Of course we could not do everything we would have liked but we did enjoy our time. We ended up spending a lot of time hiking the trails around Garmish-Partenkircken, Germany and around Innsbruck, Austria. A little in eastern Switzerland. The weather was very hot for our expectations though.

Our visit to Dachau was moving and very informative. The tour through Viator was exceptional in my opinion.

The food was so delicious and the people very friendly wherever we went. Even though I speak and read very little German most people tried very hard to help us out (mainly with directions).

The castle portion was the biggest mistake on my part. We took a train to Fuessen for a day. We left a bit later than we had planned. The wait time for Neuwschwanstien was over 4 hours and we did not do that due to timings for the last train back to Munich. From what I heard we missed nothing! We did go through Hohenschwangau castle. It was over a 2 hour wait and the tour was sketchy and short (about 30 minutes). Hardly worth the money, much less the time. Fuessen is a beautiful town and much more deserving than the castles. We did hike from Hohenschwangau village which took about an hour. Being hot it was a little difficult but very nice views.

We would have been better off going to Lindenhof over all.

Bardo, we did eat at Andechser an Dom and it was great! Thanks so much for the recommendation. The staff was so pleasant and one of the waitresses came out and around the block to help us find it since there was construction blocking it from street. A real pleasure!

Again, thanks all and feel free to ask any questions for opinions.
Andy
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